Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again! Gamers will note that he’s made SIXTEEN CUTS IN A ROW since this debacle. Any ONE of those events would have given me more $$$ than this outing.
SHFC Open: Hideki Matsuyama. Time to break through, son. Matsuyama WD with injury so he was replaced with Nick Watney. He finished T48 for $15,264
CIMB Classic: Let’s try this again: Hideki Matsuyama. There’s no cut. This pleases me. His T25 after 74 on Sunday does not please me. Oh well. Here’s $53,433 into the piggy bank.
WGC-HSBC: Martin Kaymer. There’s no other place I would consider using him and he’s the defending champ on this track. #hangsonfordearlife. Kaymer’s third round 62 dared me to dream but his T8 and $161,667 is a nice deposit.
The McGladrey Classic: David Toms. He’s finished T3 in 2010 and second last year. His recent form suggests he’s playing well and I don’t see another chance to burn him down the road. It was him or CH III. Well, BOTH of my selections finished T27. I should have listened to O…T27 was good for $39,050.
OHL Mayakoba: Brian Gay. When form meets course history… Well, that was a nice theory but it resulted in T45 and $18,060. I’m glad 2013 is now over.
HTOC: Martin Laird. Since I’m off to a woeful start I see no reason to burn a premium player. Chris Kirk was my second choice but nobody wins in back-to-back starts plus he’s just had another child. Laird is the horse-for-course. The Scot finished T20 in a 30-man field for $87,000.
Sony: Charles Howell III. He plays great in the early part of the season and his record at Waialae has everything BUT a win. If you notice, I saved most of my heavy hitters for the latter part of 2013 last year and that strategy worked out. Hey, a top 10 and $119,000! Feels like a winner!
Humana: Webb Simpson has been on fire to get 2013-14 started and going low has never been a problem. It’s time to start firing at ‘em. Sigh. Another week brings another disappointing selection as I add a whopping $57,000 to my morbid total.
FIO: Same as last year, Rickie Fowler. He’s working with Butch Harmon to get to the next level and he’s played SoCal courses plenty in his young life. He finished up last week at Humana 67-66 and he’s finished T5, T20, T13 and T6 last year in four career starts. I’ll save Woods and Mickelson for down the road for bigger winner’s checks. Snedeker and Walker were also considered and are solid options for this week. Fowler was just as bad as the other four I had listed, save for Woods’ MDF cash. Tough week in OAD for most I’m guessing. MC $0.
WMPO: Ryan Palmer. He’s on fire, can really putt and was fifth here last year. His excellent 64 saw him make the cut but his 70-72 weekend resulted in T48 at $15,772. I finished strong last year because I had a stable full of studs from The Open Championship through the FedExCup Playoffs. I’m not panicking. Yet.
AT&T PEBBLE: Jimmy Walker is the pick this week. He’s a beast on the West Coast and he’s had time to recover from his illness after MC at Torrey Pines. BANG TRISCUITS. Winner, winner, chicken dinner and $1,188,000.
NTO: Dustin Johnson goes to bat this week for Team Glass. His form is excellent and the fact that he’s banged top 10s in half of his trips here doesn’t hurt either. Tacos for everyone! Johnson’s solo second adds $723,600 to the bank! #heatwave
WGC-Match Play: Ian Poulter will be my hedge this week. His recent starts hardly inspire but there’s no doubting his inner fortitude in Match Play. He is the 2010 champ and was fourth last year. I don’t see myself using him anywhere else this season. Hunter Mahan would be choice No. 2 but I don’t like his draw with the sizzling Zach Johnson. Don’t forget Mahan played in the last group in the U.S. Open and The Open in 2013. Ah, Poults…$48,000.
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell is the choice this week. There has been no rust after his time off this winter and I’m encouraged after his result at Pebble and WGC-Match Play. I’m using Mickelson at Pinehurst so this is an easy play. He was three-under heading into the weekend. He was even when the weekend was over. Add $15,600 to the bank. That couldn’t cover Bolton’s Lear jet for the weekend…
WGC-CC: With a massive prize pool, I have no problem pulling the trigger on, as for reasons mentioned above, on an ultra-premium player. GO MCILROY GO! After making a birdie on No. 1 on Sunday, He was just four back. That was his last birdie of the day, sigh, T25, $76,000.
Puerto Rico: My heart says Brooks Koepka but my wallet says Chris Stroud. I’m glad I went with my wallet as Stroud hit the top 10 (T9) with $94,500.
Valspar: It was down to Furyk or Donald, but Donald had only ONE bad round last week! Go Luke Go! Donald finished T4, good for $235,600. Another cash and another top five works for me.
API: It came down to Bubba Watson and Kevin Na last week and T14 from Na never sounded so good! I added $102,300 to the kitty and another top 25 to the ledger.
VTO: It came down to Charley Hoffman and Freddie Jacobson last week and the American with the impeccable track record at Valero won the starting spot. He didn’t disappoint as he ground-out a T11 to rack up $136,400. #verynice
Shell Houston Open: The big Swede I should have went with was Freddie Jacobson but instead it was Henrik Stenson. I have now been severely toasted on two premium players in 2014 as McIlroy (T25, WGC-CC) and Stenson (T54) have given me absolutely nothing. Yes, $14,456 is nothing in this game.
Masters: The Westwood for a two-and-done was more solid advice than going with (again) injured Jason Day. He rallied nicely for T20 but that’s not what I need in big events. I’ll add $101,600 to the kitty.
Here are my results in the four big payday events:
Ian Poulter: WGC-Match Play: T33
Rory McIlroy: WGC-CC: T25
Jason Day: Masters: T20
Sergio Garcia: THE PLAYERS: Third
Phil Mickelson: U.S. Open T35; reality checked
RBC Heritage: Donald would obviously be the selection this week but I’ve burned him at Tampa. I’m going with Jim Furyk this week as he returns to a track where he’s had plenty of successes and his game has been in fine form the past month. I also considered Spieth and Kuchar for this spot but after a trying weekend at the Masters, I’ll save them both for down the road. As I mentioned above, I #fantasyfailed in so many ways on Kuchar this week I’ve lost count. Jim Furyk did exactly what gamers would expect, a top 10 (T7) and $187,050.
Zurich Classic: The safe pick this week would be Justin Rose but as I’ve demonstrated above, I DON’T PLAY SAFE. Or smart, sadly, for that matter. Whatever. That was the FIRST SENTENCE I wrote last week. Top 10s are GREAT people! Sadly, T29s are not and that’s what Graham DeLaet racked up for me last week. Sure it’s $44,200 but that’s not what I was looking for from a guy who made only FOUR bogeys on the week!!!
Wells Fargo: Since I’ve burned McIlroy, Furyk, Fowler and Walker, that leaves me Westwood, Moore, Rose and Holmes from my top eight. As I’ve mentioned, I’m leaving Rose for larger fish fryings and I would suggest that Holmes makes a nice choice for TADs this week. That leaves last week’s champion in Malaysia, Lee Westwood and Ryan Moore. Moore’s current form is the biggest concern and that’s the least of my worries with the Englishman. Westwood will fly the flag this week for the S.S. Tirefire. SO CLOSE YET SO FAR as Holmes was the suggestion in the TWO and Done so hopefully Don from the PNW read the column!! As we all know, Westwood MC.
THE PLAYERS: For those of you who didn’t blow Westwood out last week, he’ll make a tasty TAD pick this week to go along with Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk or Sergio Garcia. Since I’ve burned three of the four mentioned above, I’m going with the Spaniard to claim his second title here. Vamos Sergio! Wow. All FOUR of those picks hit the T6 or better last week! I know what that means this week: carnage. Fine. I’m not scared.
HPBNC: I’m going with #SpiethBoner in his backyard. Keegan Bradley would make a fine selection as well and I should hedge but WHAT FUN WOULD THAT BE? I wouldn’t talk you out of Woodland either as I’m really high on him this week as well but I’ve burned him already. For the TOADs (TwOAndDones) in the crowd, Marc Leishman is the no-brainer here. Add Jordan Spieth to the Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day pile of premium players that I have burned with awful results. At least my TOAD pick with Leishman was quality. Spieth finished T37 for $30,403.
CPIC: There are two reasons I like Zach Johnson this week. One, I’ve already burned Jim Furyk. Two, the win pool is almost $300k more than the JDC where I will burn Stricker. LET’S GET GREEDY. There are three chalk players this week and I’ve mentioned two of them. Matt Kuchar is the third. Oh, and Paul Casey was mentioned for the TOAD. O-fer EVERYTHING last week. #awesome. Zach Johnson finished 73rd, or third-to-last, for a whopping $12,416.
Memorial: I’m going with Charl Schwartzel here even though only seven of 38 winners over the years are non-American. He’s a steady-eddy and his last three starts here have all improved and have all been inside the top 25. Well, that worked out nicely as the South African finished T8 for $167,400. This is part of the column where I would mention he was T5 beginning Sunday if I was bitter but I’m not.
FESJC: A thin field leaves me with few premium choices as I am burning Mickelson next week at Pinehurst and DJ has already bagged me a solo second at Riviera. John Senden and Paul Casey are the only two in my Call to Order that I have not played this season. I’m going to keep it simple stupid and roll with Aussie who has been firing all season long. Sendo wento homo earlio with MC. Rubbish. The alternate selections of DJ, Westwood and Palmer fell just as flat. Complete throw away week last week.
U.S. Open: I’ve had Phil Mickelson circled for this event for 364 days. Do I wish he was playing better? No. This week is this week. The U.S. Open is the U.S. Open. I’m looking for some #Philanthropy to get back into the top 500 or so in the GC game. Well, Mickelson was, well, Mickelson but sadly not U.S. Open Phil Mickelson. He was 2014 Mickelson. He was T35. $59,588 will have to do.
Travelers: It’s time for #BubbaGolf! Like Mickelson, this play has been planned out for some time so I hope I’m not a day late and a million or so dollars short. #fingerscrossed #BubbaGolf resulted in T31 or worse for the third tournament in a row. #FadeMe
QLN: I’m sending the quiet assassin Brendon Todd to bat this week to shake it up. He’s better than you think and his game is a solid as it gets. It feels so good to be back in the top five again! Almost like a win!! T5, $237,250
Greenbrier: A very difficult decision this week came down to three players: Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman and Ben Martin. Leishman will get the nod because of his form, barely, over Martin and Reed. Brendan Steele should have been in the conversation but I’ll save him for Reno-Tahoe.
SEASON TOTAL: $4,683,517; 33 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Thirds: 1; Sergio Garcia (PLAYERS)
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 9
Top 25s: 16
MC: Gary Woodland (Frys.com), Lee Westwood (WFC) and John Senden (FESJC)
Thermometer: I’ll never complain about a top five or top 10.
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON p.m. ET. We will be breaking down the field at The Greenbrier Classic and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.